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Do you need to remove paper from the foam boards?

#1
I'm finishing up building my first swappable and so far everything has coming together suprisingly well. One thing that I have noticed while browsing the site is that some users are posting methods for removing the paper backing from the Adams foam boards. Is this in any way required or just a method to improve it's resistance to water? I'm really hoping I didn't miss a step somewhere that requires I remove the paper backing!
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#2
For most of the FT builds, you leave the paper on. In fact, the paper ads to the strength of the plane. To waterproof, use oil based minwax.

So no, you didn't miss a step.
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#3
Not required, in fact, with the swappable's not recommended since it serves as a structural enhancement. You can waterproof the foam board with Minwax Polyurethane (solvent NOT Water based).

Thurmond
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#5
It does depend on the model -- most plans you see on RC groups or youtube (like experimental airlines) are intended to work without the paper, but as others have mentioned, the FT models rely on it.

It can be troublesome, though -- humidity will attack the paper and adheasive, and long before you get a chance to minwax it, the paper is ready to peal off. If it's a concernt, a little packing tape around the edges will keep it all tight.

Keep in mind, even the swappables can be made w/o the paper, so long as it's replaced by something (like packing tape, celophane & spray adheasive, monokote . . . ). While the ridgitiy the paper brings is nice, losing/replacing the paper will remove a *tremendous* amount of weight.
 

rcspaceflight

creator of virtual planes
#6
I've warped planes with simple designs from landing in dew. Which is why it's always a good idea to water proof the foamboard some how. Unless you're careful about when you fly. Or if you don't care. My planes, at least used to be, use once and throw away so it was fine for me to leave the paper on without any water proofing.

Removing the paper is just a method that some people use. It's not a method that Flite Test uses. You didn't miss any steps and your plane will fly great as is. If you're just starting out, don't worry about waterproofing the paper in any way. There is nothing worse than spending more time building a plane than you spend flying it.
 
#8
I personally like removing the paper because I find that eventually the paper starts to peal off in some areas.
I do replace it with a clear packing tape. There are also several colors you can get in packing tape. This allows the foam to remain just about as rigid, if not more so, than with just the paper and now you don't have to worry about moisture as much. I think the packing tape is also less weight than the paper/minwax solution.
Good luck which ever way you decide.
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#9
Today I started removing the paper and using an Iron on DI 1/2 Laminate (Digital Imaging 1 mil laminate 2 mil glue). Time will tell if this is a good alternative to paper or packing tape for covering. I got the laminate from Crash Test Hobby.

Thurmond
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#10
As long as the heat from the iron isn't melting or warping the foam, it should be alright.
Is there any shrink to the laminate? I would think that if does, and it's applied on just one side, you'd get a lot of bowing.
 

rcspaceflight

creator of virtual planes
#11
I personally like removing the paper because I find that eventually the paper starts to peal off in some areas.
I do replace it with a clear packing tape. There are also several colors you can get in packing tape. This allows the foam to remain just about as rigid, if not more so, than with just the paper and now you don't have to worry about moisture as much. I think the packing tape is also less weight than the paper/minwax solution.
Good luck which ever way you decide.
I find that removing the paper and replacing it with packing tape makes it more flexible. The paper creases and becomes weak at that crease, the tape can't crease. So, I think it's technically less rigid with tape, but because it's more flexible it's more durable than paper. Which is great, but if your plane is too big or has too big of a flat area, it might flex too much and be wobbly. I just wanted to point that out.

But I agree with you that it weighs less to use clear, or colored, packing tape instead of paper and minwax and paint.
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#12
As long as the heat from the iron isn't melting or warping the foam, it should be alright.
Is there any shrink to the laminate? I would think that if does, and it's applied on just one side, you'd get a lot of bowing.
It is the same laminate used by the digital imaging industry so there is practically zero shrinkage. Sticks to the bare foam better than packing tape. Aloft Hobbies is also carrying it now. It makes for one VERY slick airframe.

Thurmond
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#13
One other method to help keep the paper from peeling off is to smear a bit of hot glue along the edges similar to the method used to reinforce hinges. I picked that up from one of the FT videos when I first started and have used it a couple of times.
 
#15
Some one once posted an article saying that they use wood glue to stop the paper from peeling. It's lighter and works fine.
You can also use your coating iron to hot roll the edges if the foamboard.... Rolling both the cut paper edges towards each other this gives a nice rounded edge the foamboard.

There is a video somewhere on this site that demonstrates the technique.
 
#16
Glad I Saw This Thread

Hi,

When I opened the box containing the three-pack of swappable models, I was concerned about the brown paper covering. I'm glad I saw on this thread that I have the option of removing it. Practical considerations aside, I think the white foam is much more attractive than the brown paper. The idea of using a model that looks like a flying shopping bag doesn't appeal to me.

My plan is to decorate the models in some way, probably with colored tape, decals, and paint (I realize I have to be careful painting foam, so I've done a lot of research on that). I'll also research ways to moisture-proof the foam.

Bill
 

Forster

Slow, low and dirty.
#19
relief! Thanks for the info. Are there other scratch build models that require the paper to be removed?
In addition to what others have said already, if you're bending foam board along a curve, it's not unusual to see the paper removed from inside the curve. This facilitates the bending process and keeps the paper from wrinkling after it's bend.